IMPROVED WOOD KITCHEN PROGRAM
Exposure to traditional kitchen smoke contributes to 13000 premature deaths each year and affects 35 million people in the country. Furthermore, women are the most affected by smoke, since they are mostly the ones who cook and therefore are directly exposed to smoke (Image 1). Additionally, in 2011, the Ministry of Energy and Minerals Development declared that 95% of schools in Uganda cooked with traditional cookers and open fires, with less than 2000 improved cookers disseminated in the last 6 years. Moreover, this model has made the problem of the country’s deforestation worse.
Aims and activities:
In this context, the main goals of this line of work started in 2019:
- Improve women health and living conditions.
- Guarantee access to clean energy.
- Contribute to the reduction of deforestation.
To this end, in 2019 efficient wood kitchens were installed in 4 of the 7 schools of the project. The design of these kitchens allows to keep heat and energy in a more efficient way, reducing the daily amount of firewood used, and therefore a reduction in invested costs and in turn reducing the CO2 emission.
These kitchens are designed and locally manufactured by Ugandan companies. Its main characteristics focus on achieving efficient fuel combustion at high temperatures, guaranteeing a good air intake in the fire, controlled fuel use, complete combustion and efficient use of the resulting heat. They include the following design components: an insulated L-shaped combustion chamber; a small fuel feed opening to restrict the amount of fuel added to the stove at one time; and a small space between the stove and the pot improve heat transfer by forcing hot combustion gases against the sides of the pot.
The health of the people in school, and mainly of the women, improves significantly by installing efficient kitchens. The WHO and UNICEF affirm in a study made in 2013, air pollution in the home with improved kitchens reduces severe pneumonia; safer and more efficient energy in the home prevents burns, saves time and fuel costs, and contributes to better development opportunities.
Finally, in 2020 we intend to provide the members of the Women’s Ranchers Groups with solar kitchens, with the dual goal of improving their life quality and generating new incomes from their sale, because they will be able to manufacture themselves with homemade materials.
The visual health project began through requests from the teachers about the visual health of children. It was detected that some of the students from these schools could not rear or see the blackboard, which was having a direct impact on their education, so this line of work was activated thanks to the collaboration of volunteers and collaborating entities.
In the context of rural schools in Uganda where the Saluganda project works, the project beneficiaries are very low-income families, so their economic situation does not allow them to access certain necessary resources for good visual health. Therefore, our main goals have been the following ones:
- Improve living conditions of children and teachers
- Improve school performance of children by improving visual health and access to glasses when it is necessary.
Activities made and goals achieved in 2019:
In a first visit, in July 2019, we carried out the first review to detect how many children could have difficulties or visual problems. (Image 1). Besides, we were also able to review the teachers who showed great interest and need to improve their visual situation since until now they had never had access to it.
In October 2019, with the information previously analysed, two volunteers from the association, including an ophthalmologist and a nurse, performed the graduation and supervision (Image 2) of those people who needed some type of treatment.
One month later in November 2019, with the help of two other volunteers, different models of glasses of our exclusive brand were taken, for children and adults, in order to be able to take the Interpupillary Distance and height (Image 3) of each of them, and thus achieve your custom glasses.
In February 2020, we reached the final part of the project. Through the collaboration of Medical Optical Hearing, the 61 glasses were produced and delivered to Uganda.
The goal is to make an annual review to identify possible problems and to review new students who join the schools.
HEALTH, HYGIENE AND MENSTRUAL EDUCATION
The very low-income families are the beneficiaries of the project. Their economic situation does not allow them access to certain health resources, such as menstrual hygiene. This situation makes girls not to attend their lessons when they are with the period, which often implies that they fall behind in subjects and sometimes they drop out of studies.
On the other hand, as Mónica Mutyaba -coordinator of the Livestock Women Groups- points out, this lack of access to hygienic-sanitary products also hinders the work of women. The methods they use during their period (old fabrics), can produce health problems, infections and discomfort to carry out their daily activities with normality.
When addressing the topic of menstrual health from education, breaking the taboo, avoiding stigma, speaking naturally on the subject, socializing it, providing them with the tools for the proper management and hygiene of menstruation, different problems are tackled as it is shown in the following chart.
Objectives and activities:
The main objectives of this line of work started in 2019 in the context of the Saluganda project are:
- Increase girls’ school attendance and improve the situation of women through reusable pads.
- Sensitizing boys and girls about the menstrual cycle, the body changes and the menstrual hygiene management.
- Teaching them new skills to make their own reusable pads.
These are the lines of action to give a holistic response to the problem:
Educational session for the correct use of the reusable pads. The company Afripads shares and offers a 3-hour explanatory manual Training of trainers about all topics related to MHM – Menstrual Hygiene Management, to, later on, teach this educational sessions in schools and to groups of livestock women. In addition, there will also be educational material, such as comics, about the first menstruation: https://www.afripads.com/mhm-curriculum/
Sewing workshop of reusable cloth pads. This workshop aims. Teach girls and teachers to sew their own reusable pads so that they are self-sufficient and they do not have to depend on purchasing them in the future, being able to obtain them more economically. Furthermore, this knowledge will be transmitted year after year to all girls in menstrual age.
Through the workshop, it is also possible to provide students with new skills that, in the future, could open them doors in the labor market.